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Arizona copper mine reports test facility is operational

Posted at 12:43 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 15:43:00-04

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) - A copper mine southeast of Phoenix says it's ready to begin working toward commercial production following the initial success of its small-scale test phase.

The Florence Reminder and Blade-Tribune reported Thursday that Florence Copper's production test facility has become fully operational, expecting to produce about 1 million pounds (450,000 kilograms) of copper during the yearlong test phase.

The facility owned by Taseko Mines Ltd. expects to produce about 85 million pounds (38 million kilograms) of copper each year for two decades if it obtains the necessary state and federal permits to enter commercial production.

The mine uses a process that involves injecting a sulfuric acid solution underground to dissolve the copper so it can be pump back to the surface for processing.